(GATESTONE INSTITUTE) – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, of the “Ground Zero mosque”, once again wrote a deeply inaccurate article reprimanding Americans for their supposedly “right-wing caricature” of Islamic law, sharia, which he insists is not a threat to American law. In his recent article “The silly American fear of sharia law”, he denied that sharia is incompatible with US laws and the constitution. Oh, really?

Imam Rauf tries to blame sharia’s amputation and stoning on Biblical Law:

“Sharia is not about amputations and stoning. These extreme punishments carry over from earlier, biblical law” and “Within the history of Islam, they have rarely occurred. What Islamic law does prescribe are the same do’s [sic] and don’ts of the Ten Commandments.”

Imam Rauf’s article is, to say the least, misleading — especially regarding the Ten Commandments. Sharia is not only incompatible with Western legal system but is the direct opposite of Western values; it has violated all ten of the Ten Commandments.

Islam was created 600 years after Christianity not to affirm the Bible, but to discredit it; not to co-exist with “the people of the book” — Jews and Christians — but to replace them. It is hard to read Islamic law books without concluding that Islamic values are essentially “a rebellion against the Ten Commandments.”

READ MORE AT GATESTONE INSTITUTE

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(WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD) – Two years after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, they still can’t get a courthouse wedding in Waco.

Only one Waco-based justice of the peace has been doing any civil weddings since the high court decided Obergefell vs. Hodges on July 26, 2015, and she said she will only do a wedding between a man and a woman.

Precinct 1 Place 1 Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley said she initially chose not to do weddings at all after the Supreme Court decision, as did some other JPs in the county, including her colleague, Precinct 1 Place 2 Judge Pete Peterson.

But Hensley changed her mind in September, and has done about 70 opposite-sex weddings since then, mostly at the courthouse during business hours.

“My conscience was bothering me because so many people were calling and wanting a wedding,” she said.

She said that as a “Bible-believing” Christian, her conscience also prohibits her from doing same-sex weddings, and she thinks she is entitled to a “religious exemption.” She said that on a couple of occasions, her office has told same-sex couples that the judge was not available and gave them a list of locals who would officiate a same-sex wedding, including ministers and Precinct 3 JP David Pareya, who is based in West.

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(JTA) — A parade in Chicago celebrating the lesbian community banned three Jewish women carrying Jewish Pride flags.

Organizers of the 21st annual Chicago Dyke March told the women that the rainbow flags with a white Star of David in the center would be a trigger to people they found offensive.

A Dyke March collective member told the Windy City Times that the women were told to leave because the flags “made people feel unsafe,” and that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.”

READ MORE AT JTA

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NEW YORK, June 22, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Catholic League President Bill Donohue comments on a new Pew Research Center poll on religion:

On June 20, Pew Research Center released the findings of a new poll on President Trump’s job performance. It found that 39 percent of the public approves of his performance in office, while 55 percent disapproves. But among those who attend church weekly or more the respective figures are 48 percent and 45 percent. This suggests that it is secularists who are driving down his approval ratings.

Among white non-Hispanic evangelical Protestants, Trump wins the approval of 74 percent; 20 percent disapprove. Among white non-Hispanic Catholics, he wins the support of 52 percent; 42 percent disapprove.

Overall, 48 percent of Protestants approve of the president’s performance, while 45 percent disapprove. Among Catholics, the figures are 38 percent and 56 percent. The drop-off in support overall is clearly due to the Hispanic input. Here’s more proof.

White non-Hispanics, independent of religious affiliation, approve of Trump’s handling of the job by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent. But among Hispanics, the figures are 20 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

Trump’s lack of support among Hispanics is well known, but more controversial is his support among the faithful. To take a line from President Bill Clinton, he feels their pain.

Two weeks ago, President Trump told religious Americans that the “bitter voices” of elites are responsible for the “hatred” and “prejudice” toward religion. Saying the faithful are “under siege,” he vowed to “put a stop to the attacks on religion,” pledging to “end discrimination against people of faith.”

This is a welcome change from the Obama years where the executive branch used its powers to challenge the autonomy of churches and religious non-profits. The faithful are taking note, redounding to the favor of President Trump.

With regard to the role of religion, two conclusions seem plain. One, religious Americans like the president. Two, secularists don’t like him. A third conclusion, based on other data, is also warranted: militant secular activists are the “bitter voices” of hatred and prejudice against the faithful.

This is one more reason why the culture war is not going away, and why practicing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims must stand up to the bullies who are leading the attacks against them.

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(SAUDI GAZETTE) – CAIRO — Egypt will extend a national state of emergency for three months after the government approved President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s proposal to do so, the cabinet said on Thursday, amid an ongoing militant campaign against a Christian minority.

Parliament unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency in April, broadening the power of authorities to crack down on what they call enemies of the state after two church bombings killed at least 45.

The state of emergency, which would have expired at the end of June, has been extended by three months, Cabinet statement showed, meaning it will now last at least until the end of September.

READ MORE AT THE SAUDI GAZETTE

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(THE CHRISTIAN POST) – A mosque in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been renamed in honor of the Virgin Mary. Located in Al Mushrif district in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Mosque is now known as “Mariam, Umm Eisa,” which in Arabic means “Mary, Mother of Jesus.”

Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, requested the change of name to “consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions” and to show that his nation is open to people of different faiths.
The change of name was officially done on June 14, which coincided with the Zayed Humanitarian Day. The Blessed Virgin Mary is considered one of the most esteemed women in Islam and is among only eight people to have a Qur’anic chapter named after them.

READ MORE AT THE CHRISTIAN POST

Muslims may endorse Mary but Mary does not endorse either Islam or the Qur’an.

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(GATESTONE INSTITUTE) – London, June 5, 2017. A minute of silence is held at Potters Field Park, next to the City Hall, to pay tribute to the victims of the London Bridge jihadist attack three days before. Those who came have brought flowers, candles and signs bearing the usual words: “unity”, “peace” and “love”. Faces are sad but no trace of anger is visible. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, gives a speech emphasizing against all evidence that the killers’ ideas have nothing to do with Islam.

A few hours after the attack, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May also refuses to incriminate Islam, but dares to speak of “Islamic extremism”. She was immediately accused of “dividing” the country. On election day, June 8, her Conservative party lost the majority in the House of Commons. Jeremy Corbyn, a pro-terrorist, “democratic socialist”, who demands the end of British participation in the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), led the Labour party to thirty more seats than it had earlier. In spite of three attacks in three months, Britain does not seem to choose the path of vigilance and determination. June is not even over but the media barely talk about terrorism any more. A devastating fire destroyed a building in North Kensington, killing scores of residents. Mourning the victims seems to have completely erased all memory of those killed in the terrorist attacks.

Then, in the early hours of June 19, a man who acted alone drove a van into a crowd of Muslims leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London: the main “threat” to the British right now was soon presented in several newspapers as “Islamophobia”.

READ MORE AT GATESTONE INSTITUTE

(NEWS-SENTINEL) – When the local General Motors plant hoisted a rainbow gay-pride flag five years ago to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion, a spokeswoman assured me the same opportunity would not be offered to Christians or members of other religious groups despite the company’s support for a cause at odds with many of its own employees’ faith.

The progressive vision of diversity has not become more inclusive since 2012 but it has at least evolved. The debate has moved from the bedroom, to the bathroom, to the baseball field.

The St. Louis Cardinals have quietly hosted “Christian Day” for nearly 30 years and will do so again July 30. But the once-innocuous event has suddenly become controversial, and not just because featured speaker and former Cardinal Lance Berkman hit most of his 366 home runs for the rival Houston Astros.

READ MORE AT THE NEWS-SENTINEL

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) – BANGUI, Central African Republic — Clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic town of Bria have left at least 100 people dead in the wake of a peace agreement signed this week in Rome that called for an immediate cease-fire, officials said.

Security remained so precarious that Red Cross teams could not venture into the streets to collect bodies for burial.

“For the moment, no one dares to go out as everything suggests that fighting can resume at any time,” said the Rev. Gildas Gbeni of the St. Louis Catholic mission in Bria. “Witnesses coming from different neighborhoods say they have had to climb over dozens of bodies that now litter the ground.”

Mayor Maurice Balekouzou and others put the preliminary death toll at around 100, while several dozen wounded were seeking treatment at the local hospital run by aid group Doctors Without Borders.

READ MORE AT THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE

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(PHILSTAR) – NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — Mindanao’s top Catholic parochial leader on Saturday condemned the desecration by Moro bandits of a chapel in Barangay Malagakit in Pigcayawan town last Wednesday.

Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, concurrent archbishop of the Cotabato Diocese, branded the act “wicked” and said it should not happen again.

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters destroyed the religious icons and vital fixtures in the chapel in Barangay Malagakit as they laid siege there for nine hours on Wednesday.

READ MORE AT PHILSTAR

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(AINA) – Last Friday (16 June), the Coptic community in Saft el-Khirsa, 180km south of Cairo, woke up to find their three-storey community centre had been broken into and sealed off by police, and their furniture, rugs and religious icons were lying on the street outside.

The building had been allocated to them after attacks on their homes in July last year.

An official explanation for the raid and closure of the building was not given, but a local source told World Watch Monitor it was caused by the visit of a local bishop.

Anba Stephanos, bishop of the city of Biba, had come the previous day (15 June) to comfort one of the families who had lost a son in the bus attack in Minya on Ascension Day and had also visited the community centre. Muslim residents apparently interpreted his visit as a sign the Copts wanted to build a church in the village, and alerted police.

The incident shows how Egypt’s Copts are not only facing the challenge of Islamic State militants, who have vowed to “wipe them out”, but also the daily challenge of living in a country where their constitutional right to freedom of belief and expression is challenged by their Muslim neighbours.

READ MORE AT AINA

(CHICAGO TRIBUNE) – The Trump administration on Friday slashed $400,000 in federal funding for a Chicago group that is one of the few U.S. groups that combats white extremism but denied it is now focusing only on fighting radical Islamists.

A grant announcement by the Department of Homeland Security eliminated funding for the Chicago-based Life After Hate, which was initially awarded the money in January during the closing days of the Obama administration.

Life After Hate, run by a former skinhead, is among a handful of domestic programs dedicated to helping people leave white power groups including neo-Nazi organizations and the Ku Klux Klan, and it was the only one of the original grant recipients dedicated solely to combatting white extremism.

The co-founder of Life After Hate, Christian Picciolini, said in an emailed statement, “While it’s disappointing that DHS broke its promise to us by changing the rules to the grant after we’d already won it, it is more alarming that the current administration is refusing to acknowledge that white nationalist extremists are a major domestic terrorist threat.”

READ MORE AT THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

 

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